Although the patterns are inconsistent, when English spelling rules take into account syllable structure, phonetics, etymology and accents, there are dozens of rules that are 75% or more reliable. It should be noted, however, that this level of reliability can only be achieved by extending the rules far outside the domain of phonics, which deals with letter-sound correspondences, and into the morphophonemic and morphological domains. For an estimate of the reliability of strictly phonic rules, we still cannot do much better than the 1963 study by Theodore Clymer.
In the reading skills pyramid, a visual illustration of the process kids go through when learning to read, phonics follows closely behind phonemic awareness. Once children understand that letters have associated sounds, they begin to make relationships between those sounds and spelling. This is the skill that helps beginning readers decode — or sound out — new words. The key elements of reading are:
Then, usually in reception or primary 1, the letters of the alphabet are introduced in a set order, and children learn one sound for each letter. At that point, they can sound out and read simple, short words like ‘c-a-t, cat’ and ‘s-u-n, sun’. Next, children learn that some letters make different sounds when you put them together, like ‘sh’, ‘ee’ and ‘ai’.
Teachers should use picture mnemonics (Drawings of letters that are embedded in a picture with the items in each picture beginning with the sound of the letter embedded within in. Example: Itchy’s Alphabet) Students are trained to notice the initial sounds in words along with the embedded picture mnemonics. Using pictures in which the letter can be logically or meaningfully embedded appears to be more effective than learning letters by themselves or with non-embedded keyword pictures.
In Canada, public education is the responsibility of the Provincial and Territorial governments. As in other countries there has been much debate on the value of phonics in teaching reading in English. However, in recent years phonics instruction has become much more evident. In fact, the curriculum of all of the Canadian provinces include most or all of the following: phonics, phonological awareness, segmenting and blending, decoding, phonemic awareness, graphophonic cues, and letter-sound relationships. In addition, systematic phonics and synthetic phonics receive attention in some publications. 
A good phonics lesson begins with an explicit explanation of the sound-spelling being taught along with guided opportunities for students to blend, or sound out, words using the new sound-spelling. These exercises should be followed by guided and independent reading practice in text that contains words with the new sound-spelling. This portion of phonics instruction is key. Therefore, phonics instruction should focus on applying learned sound-spelling relationships to actual reading, with smaller amounts of time spent on the initial task of learning phonics rules. That way, you can plan phonics lessons that are appropriate for all students, even if some have higher levels of phonics mastery than others.
The goal of phonics instruction is to help readers quickly determine the sounds in unfamiliar written words. When readers encounter new words in texts they use the elements of phonics to decode and understand them. There are a number of ways in which phonics can be applied to reading. Synthetic phonics builds words from the ground up. In this approach readers connect letters to their corresponding phonemes (sound units) and then to blend those together to create a word. For example, if a reader encountered the word “apple” and did not recognize it, he would sound out each segment of the word (/a/ /p/ /l/) and then blend these sounds together to say the entire word. Analytic phonics, on the other hand, approaches words from the top down. A word is identified as a whole unit and then its letter-sound connections are parsed out. This approach is especially helpful when a reader comes to words that cannot be sounded out (such as “caught” and “light”) and reinforcement of sight words. Analogy phonics uses familiar parts of words to discover new words. When applying analogy phonics to the word “stun” a reader notices that the second half of the word is the same as other familiar words (“sun” and “fun”). She can then apply her knowledge of this phoneme to easily decode the word.
Time4Learning offers engaging curriculum which covers math, language arts, science, and social studies. The language arts program has a strong phonics program along with listening comprehension, pre-phonics skills building such as phonemic/phonological awareness, vocabulary, self expression, writing, reading comprehension, and grammar. Time4Learning also includes social studies, science, and the option to add on a foreign language.
During the late 1990s the whole language approach gained popularity in Portugal, but in a non-explicit form. Emphasis was placed on meaning, reading for pleasure, and developing a critical approach to the texts. Explicit phonemic awareness and explicit training for reading fluency were considered outdated by some teachers' organizations. Poor results in international comparisons led parents and schools to react to this approach and to insist on direct instruction methods. Later, during minister Nuno Crato’s tenure (2011-2015), who is known to be a vocal critic of constructivist approaches and a supporter of cognitive psychology findings, new standards ("metas") were put in place. The ministry convened a team led by a well-known specialist in reading, José Morais. This team introduced an explicit phonics teaching approach, put emphasis on decoding and reading fluency.